Zehara Mohammed Damtew
Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is a legume crop that serves as a vital source of protein nutrition in many food insecure regions of the world, including Ethiopia. Chickpea is an important pulse crop grown widely in Ethiopia for grain production and amelioration of soil fertility for the succeeding cereal crops. The ability of the crop to enrich nitrogen poor soils due to biological nitrogen fixation with different isolate of endosymbiotic Mesorhizobium spp. However, the effectiveness of the isolate varies due to inherent Physiological and biochemical characteristics of the endo-symbionts and the host varieties. This necessitates the screening of the outstanding properties of the endo-symbionts under controlled environment. To this effect, 20 promising isolates were characterized for in vitro tolerance and nutritional diversity under laboratory under conditions on Chickpea. Cluster analysis of 61 biochemical and physiologic characteristics of isolates were grouped into four clusters at 70% similarity level. The larger cluster group (CI) contained 35% of the isolates, which reflect large compared to other classification. The isolates displayed incapable to grow at 45 °C and three isolates grow 40 °C. Few isolates grow at 5% NaCl and at pH 4.5, whereas the majority of the isolate grow in the remaining range. The tested isolates were sensitive to the Ampicilline and few resistances to Chloramphenicol. One isolate was found resistance to Pb and most of them sensitive Zn. Generally, the data provided an important complement to select representative distinct symbiont isolate for testing at under greenhouse conditions and field trials to enhance nitrogen fixation activities for chickpea production.
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